OAU pharmacy student emerges best pharmacy brain in Nigeria
Shalina Healthcare, is set to promote pharmacy as a profession in Nigeria by engaging tertiary health institutions in the country in the professional development of young pharmacists. OAU The Managing Director, Mr. Somnath Malakar, who spoke in Lagos during the grand finale of the 2019 Shalina Young Talent Award, SYTA, said the Award would be a sustainable project. “This is one of the ways our company is reaching out to its community. “I agree that most companies start and back out of projects but that will depend on their perspectives too. We have seen a lot of the benefits that it would make more sense to keep this project in place for the future,” Malakar said. Folashade Salako, a final year student of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, clinched the award to emerge the best pharmacy brain in the country. She beat two other contestants – Temiwunmi Akinmuleya, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan (UI) and Adeboye Bamgboye, Faculty of Pharmacy, OAU to second and third places respectively. There were debates, case studies, open presentations, clinical and pharmacological quizzes, among a host of mode of other criteria to pick the eventual winner. Malakar noted that at the regional level, Shalina connected directly with about 365 contestants in the 2019 edition of the contest, with nine emerging at the grand finale. “As a business by doing good in the market, another philosophy is to add value to Africa. To create value in any society requires you to make investment where you can generate returns and create values. We want to put our money where our mouth is. Making investment of $5 million in manufacturing facility, making investment in technology, being one of the companies that is at the forefront of innovation in the sector. “I think we are gaining reputation in this market. This is what we have been doing in the last five years. It is only logical for us to go into pharma manufacturing as the next step. We know the size and population of the country is quite massive.” According to him: “We are serious players and interested in being here for a long time. We need to make investment where those gaps currently exist so that we can grow as the market as the market continues to grow. The students competed for the coveted prize money at the grand finale described as the biggest hunt for the best Pharmacy brain in Nigeria. President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, in an address read by Pharm. Okame Okah-Arae, applauded the initiative and declared that it is the dream of every parent to see their children excel. “I know if your parents were to be here, they will be proud of what you have achieved today. I must commend the lecturers for moulding these young brains in preparation for their future career. Kudos must also go to Shalina Healthcare for putting up this innovative programme,” he said. The National Chairman, Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria, AHAPN, Dr Kingsley Amibor, said Shalina had set the pace and clamoured for other pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria to follow suit. “It is not only restricted to one arm of pharmacy practice. It encompassed all aspect of pharmaceutical care and outside the scope of pharmacy. In his own views, the National Chairman of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, Pharm Samuel Adekola, Shalina Healthcare had created a laudable initiative. “I have witnessed something like this in the past in my final year (Part 4) then. A company held a similar event, which talked about black hypertensive story. However it wasn’t as detailed and robust as the one we have here today.” “Competition like this will always stimulate interest. Through this initiative, these young pharmacists would have a level of motivation and confidence that would impact a sense of excellence in them. Invariably, this would contribute significantly to quality of graduating pharmacy students,” he remarked.